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Ghetto Grub: A Roundup of Cheap Eats at DLSU’s New and Improved Agno (NAIA)

July 20, 2019
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When I first found out that Agno—the term both older and younger Lasallians use for the area known for cheap eats and smoking cigarettes—was now called NAIA or the “new and improved Agno,” I had to visit and see what changed. My visit to Fidel Reyes Street one or two years ago reminded me just how long ago my college days were: the stalls that crowded the street’s left side were now enjoying space in a large plaza-like structure. Students now have tables and more tables to sit on, even while it’s raining. Gone was the “ghetto” factor of the tarpaulin shaded stalls and the uneven road that led to your next class. But enough about how old I am; time may transform appearances, but in this cheap eats scene, there are both timeless meals, and new alternatives for students.

1. Perikon

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You need not spend over a hundred just to have two large pieces of deep fried chicken. Perikon offers three slices of buttermilk fried chicken for just PHP 89 and that price already includes a dip or gravy and rice. They also offer their own version of piri-piri chicken at PHP 85; a bowl containing thick grilled chicken slices and enough rice to balance off that much protein.

2. Pong Kizz Foods

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Another important strategy to surviving college and maximizing your allowance: extra carbohydrates, which is why at Pong Kizz Foods, rice is paired with noodles. Pong Kizz Foods gives students quantity and variety by offering baked macaroni, carbonara, Italian spaghetti, or mashed potato with their rice meals. Students tend to love the tried and tested sisig, as well as beef stroganoff and chicken cordon bleu.

3. Subs to Go

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It isn’t just about the rice; students can satisfied with sandwiches as lunch meals. At just PHP 79, you can grab ciabatta bread stuffed with otherwise expensive meats like turkey and farmer’s ham, Black Forest and smoked ham, and roast beef and vegetables from Subs to Go. The meal gets even healthier if you add an order of caesar, Thousand Island, or garlic ranch salad at PHP 49; while Japanese sesame salad is slightly more expensive at PHP 59.

4. Los Hermanos

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At roughly the same price as Agno’s other meals, Los Hermanos offers healthier alternatives through its combination of non-white rice (brown, red, black, just to name a few); steamed vegetables of broccoli, cabbage, camote, carrots, cauliflower, and sayote, and either grilled chicken, beef, pork, or fish. For a little more flavor, you can add Caesar, honey mustard, or BBQ sauce, and you only spend PHP 79 for a balanced meal.

5. Ate Rica’s Bacsilogan

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Most memories of Agno, both old and new, are dominated by Ate Rica’s bacsilog. This killer combination of bacon, eggs and cheese works as a (late) student’s breakfast, a filling lunch during breaks, or even better as a comforting meal after a stressful week. Those who want a little more kick to this timeless favorite can order the spicy version (PHP 65). Ate Rica’s also serves other breakfast meals that include tocilog, chixsilog and nuggetsilog. Their prices start at PHP 30 for sandwiches and reach up to PHP 90 for the rice combos.

6. Caric’s Republic

Another alternative to Ate Rica’s bacsilog is Caric’s. Apart from their breakfast silog meals, lunch options range from chicken parmigiana, pork sisig, beef salpicao, buttered garlic chicken, to curry chicken meals at just PHP 80. The chicken asiago and chicken melt meals top off the fried pieces with decadent creamy cheese sauce.

7. Ged & Bart

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Whatever the demographic, Japanese food will always sell when it comes to hungry Filipinos. Ged & Bart serves budget editions of filling Japanese-inspired meals such as beef gyudon, pork katsudon, beef teriyaki and chicken teriyaki at just PHP 80 each. They don’t scrimp on the viand and rice, so your money goes a long way. You can even satisfy that ramen craving at the same price via their seafood, tonkatsu, chicken katsu, and tempura miso ramen options.

8. Green Room

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Growing teenagers are more attentive to quantity over quality, which is what makes eateries like the Green Room a godsend. For just PHP 70, you can order one viand or ulam with rice. If you’re making up for lost breakfast, PHP 90 lets you pig out on two ulams and rice. The Green Room’s most popular viands are the chicken savory, and pork sisig.

9. Kooks Grill

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This stall’s moniker gives a clue about its specialty: grilled chicken. Other meats are grilled as well, including burger steaks that extend the meal with some baby potatoes. Other items on the menu include pancake with sausage, jumbo hotdog, longganisa, and Brooksdale luncheon meat meals at PHP 70.

10. Potato Giant

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Agno’s food isn’t limited to rice and ulam meals. Among Agno’s more commercial brands is Potato Giant, a stall that serves the quick but filling comfort food of most Lasallians: mojos. But aside from this all around favorite snack, its potato varieties also include twister fries (PHP 50), potato wedges (PHP 50), hashbrowns (PHP 30), and even a pizza roll for PHP 49. If carbo loading isn’t on yur agenda, they also serve sandwiches such as bacon french toast and a parmesan chicken sandwich. True to Agno’s promise, the most expensive order just costs PHP 60.

Agno doesn’t just offer all day breakfast meals and Filipino favorites at less than PHP 100. Nostalgia for PHP 50 meals and that gritty “ghetto” factor the old Agno used to have aside, this is probably the only time I’ll say that kids today have it much better compared to my time.

Are you a regular at Agno? What is your favorite dish and stall in the area? What are your favorite meal combinations when you’re feeling gluttonous?

Agno
Fidel Reyes Street,
Malate, Manila

Gela Velasco Gela Velasco

Gela is a young adult slowly settling into her late twenties. She likes to make a mess in the kitchen when no one’s looking, dance till dawn on long weekends, and dream about beef on lazy afternoons. On some days she learns how to write good in graduate school. Her life goals include sashaying somewhat like Beyonce and to write a cover story on Leonardo di Caprio.

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34 comments in this post SHOW

34 responses to “Ghetto Grub: A Roundup of Cheap Eats at DLSU’s New and Improved Agno (NAIA)”

  1. hehehe says:

    Is this accessible to non-Lasallites?

  2. Ren says:

    Hello, NEW AGNO!! So unrecognizable!

  3. Nico Goco says:

    Ano na kaya nangyari kay tolits?

  4. Ricci says:

    Times they are a-changing

  5. valdeaunia says:

    I may still end up on Eric’s Siomai (if it’s still there) lol

  6. Maureen says:

    I miss the good-ol’ greasy and “cheesy” bacsilog.

  7. secretwalangclue says:

    ID103 Eng student here and my favorite was Noel’s BBQ! P5 BBQ and P5 rice.

    sa halagang bente busog na ako! kapag may extra baon ako, sa Ate Em’s P80 Lamb Chops!

    Then inom sa Green Place haha

  8. Manu says:

    As far as I’m concerned, it is still called Agno. And I’m just a fresh grad.

    If you’re late for class and you want to grab a quick bite, buy in Subs-to-go!
    The Honey glazed fish in the stall beside Subs-to-go (left side) is a must try!
    The Quesadilla and the Mongolian from Potato Giant is really good!
    There’s a new stall there that sells crepes which is a must-try as well (Their chunky monkey is the best!).

    But nothing beats Bacsilog! The best!

  9. NAIA? Please no.

    P25 na Iced Coffee/Milo ni Ate Rica? Wow. & surprisingly buhay pa ang Pong Kizz!

    • gela velasco says:

      Yup! Haha it was strange writing down the actual prices and knowing how much cheaper it used to be. But that’s business for you 🙂

  10. ID107 says:

    Does anyone know if they’re open on Saturdays? I miss Ate Rica’s Bacsilog!!!

  11. Good Food says:

    But where is Good Munch?

  12. Nuh says:

    You forgot to note that Potato Giant serves a Mongolian style meal for only 75 pesos up a grande-like cup of iced tea for only 20 pesos. And Green Room’s picture is wrong.

  13. Lolz says:

    NAIA???????????????? I am enrolled in DLSU now
    and no one calls it NAIA.

  14. <3 says:

    “ULAMS” HAHAHA
    Thank you for making this DLSU friendly!

  15. yummychicken says:

    ROSEMARY CHICKEN. BEST. EVER.

    You can buy it at the store located to the left of subs-to-go.
    Seriously guys, I can’t bring myself to buy anything else in Agno because the rosemary chicken it just that good ( served with rice, potatoes and egg for 99!)

  16. Kach Antonio says:

    Bacsilog with melted cheese and lots of seasoning. Sodium party! I miss college.

  17. ajuju ISJ says:

    I’m not sure if you’re familiar with dixie’s but its roast beef is the bomb!

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